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EU Updates Tax Blacklist

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

11 October 2019

The EU has removed two countries from its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions and found a further five to have met their commitments on tax cooperation.

The European Council has removed the United Arab Emirates and the Marshall Islands from the blacklist. It said that they have both passed the necessary reforms to implement the commitments they had made to improve by the end of 2018 their tax policy framework, by introducing economic substance requirements.

The Council said that the UAE is now compliant with all commitments on tax cooperation and can be delisted. The Marshall Islands will be moved to the "grey list" of jurisdictions cooperating with the EU to reform their tax policies. The Council said that the country's commitments regarding exchanges of information on request continue to be monitored by its code of conduct group, pending the results of a review of the Marshall Islands by the OECD's Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information.

The Council also announced that Albania, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Serbia, and Switzerland have implemented ahead of their deadlines all necessary reforms to comply with the EU's tax good governance principles. These countries will therefore be removed from the grey list.

The Council had additionally reviewed the placement of jurisdictions following the end of its "two out of three" exception for tax transparency criteria in June. This exception provided that countries which failed to comply with only one of the EU's three tax transparency criteria would not be included in the tax blacklist. The Council concluded that all the jurisdictions concerned met the EU's three criteria.

The Council concluded that, regarding the situation of the US, its network of exchange of information arrangements is sufficiently broad to cover all EU member states, effectively allowing both the exchange of information on request and the automatic exchange of information in line with international standards and the respective needs of both sides.

The original list was released in December 2017 and contained 17 jurisdictions. Following the latest changes, there are now nine jurisdictions on the blacklist: American Samoa, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | Mauritius | tax avoidance | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Albania | Belize | Fiji | Marshall Islands | Samoa | Serbia | Trinidad and Tobago | Vanuatu | Virgin Islands | tax authority | transfer pricing | American Samoa | Costa Rica | Switzerland | revenue statistics | European Union (EU) | Guam | Oman | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion | BEPS

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